25 Nick Carraway Quotes for Self-Acceptance

Learn to let go of self-judgment with our Nick Carraway quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald created one of the most well-known narrators of all time, and we have the Nick Carraway quotes to prove it. 

Who is Nick Carraway?

Nick Carraway is a character from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby. 

Carraway is a young man from Minnesota; he attended Yale and fought in World War I. 

He moved to New York City to learn more about the bond business and expand his career. 

As a character, Carraway represents several archetypes; he represents the typical American nice guy. 

He is tolerant of others, honest with himself, and reserves his judgment. 

Check out these facts about Nick and The Great Gatsby below: 

  • The Great Gatsby was only famous after Fitzgerald’s death.
  • Jay Gatsby was also partially inspired by someone Fitzgerald knew
  • Gatsby was his third novel and was not highly praised during his lifetime.

West Egg is a fictitious neighborhood in Long Island, New York, where the newly rich moved. 

Gatsby is the neighbor of Carraway and facilitates the romantic reconnection between his cousin Daisy and Jay Gatsby. 

Nick Carraway redefined the role of a narrator

Fitzgerald did an excellent job bringing Carraway to life for the reader. 

The Great Gatsby is told through the eyes of Nick. 

It is his thoughts and perceptions that shape and color the story. 

Many stories are told using a narrator, but finding a trustworthy narrator takes time and effort. 

Narrators are usually human, and it is human nature for everyone to see situations subjectively and a subjective lens leaves room for interpretation. 

Nick’s character is well suited for narration; in chapter one, he informs the reader that he is tolerant, open-minded, and quiet. 

His ability to listen makes him invaluable to the others in the story. 

Gatsby, in particular, is drawn to Nick as a foil and an ear he can confide in. 

Gatsby, Daisy, and other characters in the novel all feel safe sharing their secrets with Nick. 

Related  25 Aizen Quotes to Cast a Spell on You

To learn more, check out our Nick Carraway facts below. 

Short Nick Carraway Quotes

Below are some of Nick’s best short quotes.

1. “Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

2. “So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

3. “I wasn’t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

4. “Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

5. “He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

The top Nick Carraway quotes on his inner thoughts

Nick’s character has a strong inner voice, but he does not always listen to it. 

6. “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

7. “Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

8. “No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

9. “All I kept thinking about, over and over, was ‘You can’t live forever; you can’t live forever.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

10. “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

The best Nick Carraway quotes about being honest with yourself 

Nick’s self-reflection does not always result in better decision-making, but his honesty benefits everyone in the novel. 

11. “In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

12. “It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

13. “Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

14. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

15. “I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

Nick Carraway quotes about Jay Gatsby

Gatsby is both a redeemer and a destroyer for Nick. 

Related  50 Setback Quotes that are bound to Inspire You

Here are some of his most memorable observations about The Great Gatsby. 

16. “The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

17. “He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it that you may come across four or five times in life.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

18. “It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

19. “So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception, he was faithful to the end.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

20. “He was a son of God, a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that, and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

The top Nick Carraway quotes about Daisy

Nick’s cousin Daisy is Gatsby’s love interest, and she and Nick do not always see the world in the same way. 

21. “You make me feel uncivilized, Daisy.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

22. “Can’t you talk about crops or something?” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

23. “Daisy was young, and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant, cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of the year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in new tunes.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

24. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and then retreated back into their money and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

25.“Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright, passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion.” — Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby 

Is Nick Carraway gay?

The debate regarding the sexuality of Nick Carraway has raged on for decades. 

Related  20 Funny Jay and Silent Bob Quotes

Readers and critics have always passionately discussed sexuality in The Great Gatsby, but over the years, more attention has shifted toward Nick’s sexuality. 

Many readers believe that Nick is either a gay man or bisexual. 

Critical readers cite several scenes from the novel to support the idea that Nick is gay. 

The most popular of the references is probably the lever scene. 

While riding in an elevator, an elevator boy snaps, “Keep your hands off the lever.” 

Mckee responds, “I didn’t know I was touching it,” while Nick replies, “I’ll be glad to.” 

Many have read this scene as a symbolic representation of society’s view on homosexuality. 

Mckee responds with an air of unknowing ignorance while Carraway enthusiastically obliges. 

However, it is the ellipse and the following text describing Nick and Mckee waking up in their underwear together that most readers find to be enough context to determine that Nick is gay in the story. 

What is your favorite part of The Great Gatsby?

Please, be sure to let us know in the comments section. 

Clifton Sankofa has Master's degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. He is a veteran educator and school leader. Clifton has built his career around teaching language arts, social-emotional learning, hip-hop(e), and vegan cooking. Across the country, Black and Brown communities die over preventable diseases. Clifton's aim is to help reverse this trend through cultural shifts. Using hip-hop and cultural-centered activities, he educates young people on how to reclaim their health and heritage through sustainable vegan eating, cooking practices, and literacy skills.
Search